Seychelles' President assumes presidency of SIDS DOCK
Ramkalawan was elected by acclamation on Monday at the seventh session of the organisation's General Assembly. (State House)
Seychelles' President Wavel Ramkalawan is the new president of SIDS DOCK, a small island developing states initiative for renewable energy and sustainable development.
In a press release on Tuesday, SIDS DOCK said that Ramkalawan was elected by acclamation on Monday at the seventh session of the organisation's General Assembly. This took place in the margins of the General Debate of the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.
Established in September 2015, SIDS DOCK is an initiative of the Alliance of Small Island States (AOSIS). It is so named because it is designed as a docking station to connect the energy sector in small island developing states (SIDS) with the global markets for carbon, finance and sustainable energy technologies.
Ramkalawan's tenure comes at a time when reports show that the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will not be achieved by 2030.
Furthermore, the Global Stocktake Report on the commitments to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Paris Agreement, offers a "damning report card for global climate efforts."
In his statement, Ramkalawan said "Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are now in survival mode. We are surviving only because of our enduring resilience, and every day we fight to survive and to exist despite our vulnerabilities. There are no indicators showing that our situation will get any better, therefore, we must put a definitive plan in place to help our young people."
His vision for the 7th session of the SIDS DOCK Assembly is "Building a Plan for Future Generations to Survive and Thrive." It is focused on the current and future generations of small islands and low-lying developing states and puts forward a plan to help the youth in SIDS to survive and thrive with tools to prosper on a planet adversely impacted by changing climate, long into the future.
Ramkalawan also spoke about the prominent role of the Blue Economy and how the Plan places the youth at the centre of SDG policies. The Plan promotes socioeconomic opportunities in key areas to attract young people, enhance their skills, and secure a resilient future by raising awareness and education on innovative finance and investment.
He gave the example of the world's first Debt Swap for Ocean Conservation and Climate Adaptation and the first sovereign Blue Bonds, all launched by Seychelles in October 2018 as a pioneering financial instrument designed to support sustainable marine and fisheries projects.
The session also saw the presentation of updates on the implementation of the modified programme of work and budget for the period of June 2023 to December 2025.
During the ceremony, the SIDS Dock Assembly also elected John Briceño, Prime Minister of Belize as Vice President, representing the Caribbean Region, and Siaosi Ofakivahafolau Sovaleni, Prime Minister of Tonga as Vice President, representing the Pacific Region.
This is the second time that a President of Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, assumes the Presidency of SIDS DOCK.
Danny Faure, who was the President of Seychelles at the time, was elected president of the initiative in September 2017 at the third annual meeting of the SIDS DOCK Assembly.